Hope High School in Providence, Rhode Island was once a model city school, graduating a wide range of students from different backgrounds. But the tumult of the 1960s and the drug wars of the 1970s changed both Providence and Hope. Today, the aging school is primarily Hispanic and African-American, with kids traveling for miles by bus and foot each day.
Hope was known for its state championship basketball teams in the 1960s, but its 2012 team was much different. Disobedient, distracted, and overwhelmed by family troubles, with mismatched sneakers and a penchant for profanity and anger, these boys represented Coach Dave Nyblom's dream of a championship, however unlikely that might seem. Nyblom's mostly black players, including several who emigrated to Providence from war-torn Liberia, faced gang violence, domestic uncertainty, drug problems, and a host of other issues. But with the support and guidance of Nyblom and other Hope coaches, their team gradually pulled together, overcoming every obstacle to find the faith and trust in themselves that Nyblom never stopped teaching.
A look at a hidden world that's just a few hundred yards from Brown University, Bill Reynolds' Hope is the inspiring true story of young men and their mentors pursuing one goal—a championship—but achieving so much more.
"Reynolds [also] zooms out from the Hope team to examine changes in Rhode Island and nationwide. This is one of the strengths of Hope—it uses young people and the coaches affiliated with an urban high school's basketball team as a lens to more carefully examine the weighty issues of education, immigration, poverty, race and unemployment."—The Providence Journal
"Reynolds’ style is intimate and thought-provoking . . . [Hope is] a basketball book but also a candid look at inner-city life that should garner it a broad audience."—Booklist (starred review)
Reviews from Goodreads
“If you’re not going to do it, just go home,” Nyblom yelled as roughly thirty kids labored through push-ups on the old gym floor.
It was the first day of practice and Nyblom was wearing a dark blue...